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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Parking Meter Firm Defends Rate Hike?

I don't which is the bigger Chicago story of 2009, losing the Olympics or the debacle surrounding the parking meters. They're certainly cut out of the same cloth. On the eve of the new year, the beneficiaries of the parking meters are defending their latest rate hike.

Avis LaVelle, a spokeswoman for Chicago Parking Meters LLC, touted technological
advances such as the ability to use credit cards at the pay boxes in defending the higher costs to drivers."It's a greatly enhanced system that offers motorists many more conveniences than before," LaVelle said.

Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, one of five aldermen to vote against the meter lease in December 2008, called the argument that Chicagoans have benefited with better parking meter technology because of the lease laughable.

Of course, it's laughable. These folks are now near a 400% increase in the rates for parking in Chicago since they took over.

Of course, it makes absolutely no difference. At this point, the only folks that view Chicago Parking Meters LLC favorably are friends and family. Their awful image makes not the slightest difference. They're the only game in town. That's what happens when the mayor hands a private company a monopoly on parking meters.

When you're a monopoly, image is ultimatelyirrelevant.

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